Should I do Yoga or Pilates, which is better for me?
Good questions. From my own experiences and research, it would be like asking: Drum machines Vs. Drums which do I use. Well, a quick observation will depict that one must have come from the other. In this case, pilates is derived from yoga or at best yoga-esque principles and methods, so suffice it to say that for which may be a the BETTER CHOICE it may be a matter of needs, time, preference and fitness levels. Now to compare the both: What is Pilates? This is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve overall health. Primarily, the workout is usually performed on a mat and on specially designed equipment. The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity. It is noteworthy of mention that Pilates focuses mainly on cultivating core strength in the body and lengthening the spine. Furthermore, a lot of dancers practice this exercise and it does deserve a lot of credit for having become very well knows (especially in the last few decades) for its effect on sculpting the body. Needless to say, in partnership with Yoga, it does go a long way towards increasing physical fitness all around. NOW...
What is yoga? Boy, ol’ Boy? I think it should be, in terms of body-weight only exercises, What ISN’T yoga or at least yoga-esque, should be the question. Alright, you got me, yeah I lean more towards this system of exercise. Well Foras, can you tell us why? Sure… Folks, Yoga is a scientific system of physical and mental practices that originated in India more than three thousand years ago. However, the word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as "union" or a method of discipline. Its ultimate goal is the union of man with God or the universe in one breath. Furthermore, it aims to liberate the spirit as the mind and spirit are equally involved in its practice. Needless to say, yoga is indeed the oldest existing physical-culture system in the world. Besides being a systematic and scientifically proven path to attaining physical fitness, it delays ageing, rejuvenates and improves appearance, maintains suppleness and increases vitality and the creative part of life. Still, after all is said and done, like drums and drum machines, in terms of Yoga and Pilates, both can stand independent of each other, work dependent on each other or when the need arises can be interchanged in their exclusive or combined uses. That’s not to say one isn’t better than the other, to me, I think it’s more preference. However like drums which will never go out of style, Yoga
does have more of a human and authentic feel to it. The emphasis on breath, relaxation etc is something that seems to be absent or less prevalent in Pilates, although that’s not to overlook the ease, quickness and efficiency of doing the art form. This article did mention that Pilates is often used by dancers, just like Yoga is often used even by Basketball players, Boxers etc, so it means just like drums are oft times needed or used in a song and do form the foundation of music and dance, the use of either or both would be a wise choice. But, I do lean more towards Yoga, just from my experience, besides, when doing Pilates, it almost feels like I’m doing Yoga either way, so , I guess, why not just do it. I guess that reminds me of my audio recording teachers who insist to this day to use live drums over drum machines for the ‘authentic’ feel. So yeah, left to me, I’ll go with Yoga, it works for me, does what pilates can do and more, but for variety, being the spice of life as is often said, doing Pilates here and there won’t hurt and may in fact help a lot. Still, owing to the obvious similarities between both exercises, suffice it to say that some guidelines need to be observed when executing them. For the Interested persons, such helpful aids are herewith provided: • Yoga postures should not be done on a full stomach. Wait at least 3 hours after a meal BEFORE practice. Personally, I think it’s best to do yoga first thing in the morning. • If you can, (and you probably should) try to do Yoga barefoot. Or at the very worst with socks or those non-slip footwear they have advertised. Me, I’m old school…barefoot!
• Okay, Nude Yoga has the right idea. Will I go that far…hmm, no! However, as little clothing as possible should be the ‘dress-code’ when doing yoga so you can move freely. • As the Father of Naturopathy, Prof Ehret recommended in his books, always try to exercise in front of an OPEN window. So please make sure the room is ventilated. • You are not competing with anyone so take it slowly and safely. So no straining, no holding the poses beyond your physical strength levels; okay…buddy!
*Try to have fun with both; with everything in life. Well, if you decide to use “drum machines” (Pilates) or “drums” (Yoga) as long as you’re getting the sound (fitness) you want, hey an exclusive, combination or interchangeable use of them would do just fine. In Friendship,
Foras Aje PS: I prefer “drums”!!! ### Foras Aje is an independent researcher and author of “Fitness: Inside and Out”, a book on improving physical and mental health naturally with a Bible-Based Diet and Exercise. For more information on this book or other natural health tips, visit his site at http://www.bodyhealthsoul.com/
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This article discusses the choice of doing yoga or Pilates or even a combination of both.